Lāʻau o Hawaiʻi

Nā Lāʻau o Hawaiʻi – Hawaiian Plants

There are many ways to classify plants. Here at Kaʻahele Hawaiʻi we use the following categories:

Lāʻau Maoli / Native Hawaiian Plants 
*  Indigenous plants – Plants that got here without human help and may also be found in other places. Naupaka and hau are examples.
*  Endemic plants – Plants that got here without human help and are ONLY found here. ʻŌhiʻa-Lehua and ʻāhinahina are examples.

Lāʻau Nahele / Uncultivated Plants
*  Wild plants – Plants that got here without human help and grow uncultivated. ʻUluhe and koa are examples.
*  Naturalized plants – Plants that got here with human help and grow uncultivated. Kukui and albizia are examples.

Lāʻau Kanu / Cultivated Plants
*  Native and introduced plants – Plants which are cultivated and maintained through human intervention. Kalo and ʻolonā are examples.

Polynesian Introduction Plants / Canoe Plants
*  Introduced plants – Plants which were brought by the early Polynesian settlers. Niu and maiʻa are examples.

Lāʻau Malihini / Lāʻau Haole / Post-Contact Plants
*  Plants introduced after 1778 – Plants which were introduced to Hawaiʻi after Captain Cook’s arrival in 1778. Papaya and mango are examples.

Favorite Books on Hawaiian Plants: